June 2018
Message from BFP Executive Director, Valerie Holmes
Hurricane season is upon us and officially spans from June 1 through November 30. Brevard Family Partnership's Disaster Preparedness Plan lays out a detailed plan of action steps, tasks, and responsibilities (both pre and post-storm) that ensures the safety and protection of children, families, and team members.

BFP added a new emergency alert notification system to disperse immediate critical updates and to increase communication.  A well-thought-out plan goes a long way toward reducing the damage from hurricanes or any other type of disaster that strikes. Of the utmost priority is s afety. Weathering the storm safely is the primary issue, in addition to maintaining sound mental and physical well-being. Get ready now with these easy, low-cost steps that will leave you better prepared.
Enhance Awareness:  Stay aware of the weather by paying attention to meteorologists' forecasts, and following the instructions from emergency management officials. Informational updates regarding tr opical storms and hurricanes are available through the  National Hurricane Center Forecasters at the center issue storm surge watches and warnings and advisories, watches, and warnings for disturbances that aren't yet tropical cyclones but still threaten land with a tropical storm or hurricane conditions within 48 hours. The center added an experimental visualization tool to easily see when damaging winds are predicted and a new hurricane track cone graphic to see how far the hurricane or tropical storm-force winds will extend outside of the cone.

Know Your Evacuation Routes:  It's the worst-case scenario, but if evacuation is required before a storm hits, have a solid plan in place. Know your evacuation routes ahead of time and keep your car filled with gas.  If an official evacuation order is executed, leave as early and expeditiously as possible. Choose a destination close to home to minimize drive time. If a motel or hotel is the identified evacuation destination, call ahead to make your reservations because it may be booked by the time you arrive. In addition to friends and family, a nearby shelter can also serve as a safe haven. Click here to view Brevard County Shelter Information or  Download FEMA's mobile app to assist you and your family in finding the  closest shelter near you. Wait until an area is declared safe before returning home.

Foster Parent "Why" Video
We have such an amazing group of men and women who have dedicated their time and energy to making a difference in the lives of children within our community. Each person who chooses foster care has a "Why". Please take a few moments to hear their stories and why they continue to choose foster care daily.  Additionally, we would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all of our foster families! You are the ones doing all of the hard work and we appreciate how much you do daily for the children within your care!

We have children in our community who need a safe, loving home. Visit  or call 321-752-4650 to learn more a bout becoming a foster parent.

Therapeutic Foster Care
Brevard Family Partnership is currently in need of therapeutic foster homes for children in care.  Our therapeutic foster care program offers specialized services to youth with complex behavioral and emotional concerns in a supportive, family environment. 

Therapeutic foster parents are supported by a primary therapist who will train and coach them to implement the goals outlined in the child's treatment plan. Goals include community integration, meeting the medical and educational needs of the child, and working collaboratively with the foster care team.  Foster parents receive 30 hours pre-service and continuing in-service training and support.

Interested in learning more about how you can help shape the lives of children in our community? Join us for an upcoming informational session  and get answers to all of your questions from professionals in the field like, foster parents, adoptive parents, licensing and adoption experts. 
July 10, 2018
6:00pm- 7:30pm
  Central Care Center
4050 Riomar Drive, Suite 120 
Rockledge ,  FL  32955 
July 24, 2018
6:00pm- 7:30pm 
South Care Center 
1591 Robert J Conlan Dr, Ste. 128 
Palm Bay ,  FL  32905 

For More Information or to Sign Up for Our Next Informational Session 
Call Christina Gagum at 321-752-4650 Ext 3031 or email
Click  Here for a complete list of session dates
Brevard C.A.R.E.S.: Disaster Trauma
By Tracy Pellegrino, Chief Operations Officer , Brevard C.A.R.E.S.

June is the start of Hurricane season in Florida. Even when a large storm does not directly impact a child's home or family, it can still cause trauma to children. Media coverage meant to help inform and educate can also upset and confuse. The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has many resources available to help support children and their caregivers before, during and after a traumatic event such as a hurricane.

Children exposed to a traumatic event like a large hurricane may experience a feeling of helplessness, uncertainty about whether there is continued danger, a general fear that extends beyond the storm itself and into other aspects of their lives. Children who experience traumatic events might not be able to fall asleep on their own or might not be able to separate from parents at school. Sometimes hearing about a potential hurricane or watching media coverage may elicit feelings of persistent concern over their own safety and the safety of others in their school or family. Children might engage in constant retelling of the traumatic event, or they may describe being overwhelmed by their feelings of fear or hopelessness.

Often, family members have different experiences around the event and different emotional responses. Adults may experience fear of potential property loss, financial loss as well as safety concerns. Hurricane season may cause a great deal of strain on many individuals. Recognizing each other's' experience of the event, and helping each other cope with possible feelings of fear, helplessness, anger, or even guilt in not being able to protect children or their home in a hurricane, is an important component of a family's emotional recovery.

Caregivers can offer invaluable support, by providing comfort, rest, and encouragement to express fears, anxiety, sadness and worries in the supportive environment. By understanding how children experience traumatic events and how these children express their lingering distress over the experience, parents, physicians, communities, and schools can respond to their children and help them through the challenging time; helping to restore balance to these children's lives and the lives of their families.

Family Allies- One Year Anniversary 

Family Allies celebrated its one year anniversary during the week of June 25-29. Mirroring our kickoff week from a year ago, we had many team building activities and celebrated our accomplishments over the past year. Between July 2017 and June 2018, over 600 children achieved permanency!

Congratulations to our inaugural Permanency Champion, Jennifer Wilkins, who secured permanency for 38 children this year! Additionally, Family Allies' success with achieving permanency timely placed Brevard Family Partnership as the top performing Community Based Care agency in the State for children achieving permanency within 12 months of entering out-of-home care - exceeding 50% for the entire fiscal year (something that has never been accomplished in Brevard). Congratulations Family Allies on a successful first year! 
GED Fast Track
A solid education is the cornerstone for success and with a GED, former foster children can begin to move towards independence with the education they need to attend college, a university, or vocational school or enter the workforce.
In 2009, Brevard Family Partnership teamed up with Education Solutions International, a leader in education advances to develop an intense, fast-paced program that prepares young adults who have exited the foster care system, to take (and pass) the GED exam. 
Since inception, 75 students have graduated the program and  78% of the young adults who have participated have successfully completed the course and received their GED.

GED FastTrack provides participants with all of the training and tools they'll need, including:

* Education, supervision and support, provided by trained instructors; 
* Steck-Vaughn GED Preparation book; 
* Administrative and student manuals; 
* Test taking tips for each subject; 
* Practice tests; 
* GED FastTrack Prescription that identifies each student's unique strengths and challenges; and 
* Targeted goals sheets

This effective and proven program prepares students in an expedited manner that helps pave their way to a brighter future.

Additional information on the GED FastTrack Program can be found
Free Summer Fun Activities 

Don't sit inside this summer, get out and enjoy the great things the Space Coast has to offer.  Many activities available in our area are free of charge. We have some of the greatest parks, beaches, and recreational activities in Florida. Check out the link below to see all of the amazing  activities that are free for your family to enjoy this summer and all year round!
Free Summer Movies for Kids:
Many movie theaters in our community offer free movie days during the summer. Check out the links below to find out the dates, times, and deals available to you and your family this summer!

 Check out the locations, dates, and times for fireworks in Brevard County!

For Additional Kid Friendly Events This Summer 
Training Corner
Non-Abusive Psychological and Physical Intervention (NAPPI)

NAPPI Traini ng is being rolled
out as a required training for all foster parents. Relative/Non-Relative C aregivers and group home staff are invited to attend as well.
NAPPI training is intended to provide skills to caregivers for managing difficult behaviors. This training will teach Psychological i.e. verbal behavior management techniques.
Decades in Revue: Save the Date
Save the Date for the 
4th Annual Decades in Revue Lip Sync Battle!  
On Saturday, October 20, 2018, the biggest stars of Brevard County will take the stage to lip sync and perform a song inspired by this year's theme, the "Slammin' 70's".

Inspired by the original Jimmy Fallon "Lip Sync Battle", this feature fundraiser for Brevard Family Partnership, will raise funds to help Brevard's most vulnerable children.

Save the Date!
Saturday, October 20, 2018
Melbourne Hilton Rialto Place 
6:00 - 10:00 p.m. 
Stay tuned for more details! 
Employee Spotlight
As our Family of Agencies continue to grow and expand, we would like to introduce you to some our amazing team members.  Each month, we will be highlighting one of our employees serving on the 2017-2018 Leadership Team. This month we will be highlighting LaShica Kelly.

Which Agency do you work for?
Brevard C.A.R.E.S .
How long have you worked for the above agency?
2 Years
What is your current title?  
Child and Family Services Specialist
Briefly in 2-3 sentences explain what you do in your current role:  
As the Child and Family Services Specialist, I work directly with the Department of Children and Families Child Protective Investigators to provide family support services to at risk families.
Have you ever been in any other role within the agency? 
No, I haven't been in any other role within the agency, but I have assisted with caseloads within the Non-Judicial In-Home Services program with C.A.R.E.S. due to staff shortage as I am also a Florida Certified Child Welfare Case Manager.
What is your favorite thing about working here?
My favorite thing about working here is being able to engage and help families that are in need and help them get supports to help them be successful. I always like to see families be successful and know that I had a part in it.
What do you like to do in your spare time? 
In my spare time I love spending time with my family, which is very important to me. I like to decorate, be creative with arts and crafts and make things and shop.
Who or What inspires you? Why? 
Who inspires me the most would be my family. My family is my support system, my lifeline with God being first. They are always there for me in good times and in bad. The love they give me is unconditional, the morals and values that they instilled in me, makes me who I am. They always encourage me to do better and want to see me win.  That's why I like helping, encouraging, motivating and guiding families in the right direction because I only want the best for them because my own family do it for me. 
If you were a color crayon what color would you be? Why? 
I would be the color Brown. I'm a warm, down to earth kind of person. 
Brevard Family Partnership
2301 W. Eau  Gallie Blvd., Suite 104
Melbourne, FL 32935
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